THE ALLIANCE OF THE WILLING
It is of great credit of the
Dental Industry that even in today’s busy and stressed world
people with good intent are making the time to help the genuine
needy and disadvantaged in their local communities.
Thanks to the collective efforts
of the National Dental Foundation volunteer dentists, nurses and
volunteer hygienists and therapists from the ADOHTA, Henry
Schein/Halas, ADIA, ADA and NDF volunteer administration staff
it has been possible to make a major difference to the lives of
many young people genuinely trying to rebuild their lives, women
and children in shelter accommodation and the homeless.
Leading dentists in each State act as State Chairman and NDF
Board Members. Dr David Digges leads NSW, Dr Dennis Gregory WA,
Dr Chris Hart QLD, Dr Michael Ryan ACT, Dr John Osbourne VIC.
And Dr Gordon Mc Lean SA. Together with their State committees
they organize weekend Charity Days in local communities where
dentists practicing in the area have volunteered their services
to the NDF.
Over the past 12 months through
the collective efforts of all of the above, hundreds of
genuinely needy people have received free and very necessary
dental treatment in NSW, Victoria , Qld & WA that is estimated
to be worth over $1.m.
Some practice owners also
volunteer their practices to be used for the Charity Day which
enables other dentist to come to a central point and enjoy the
great team spirit that is always present when working together
and seeing the genuine appreciation of the recipient patients.
Once a Charity Day has been
decided the State Committee gets busy contacting established
charities in the local area who are working on a daily basis
with the genuinely needy to arrange the patient lists and ensure
that appointments made are kept.
Henry Schein Halas through the
efforts and goodwill of Jessica Chasen and Gordon Anderson have
played a major role in the success of the NDF initiatives by
supplying the bulk of the materials used on the Charity Days
right around Australia and arranging for Colgate to provide
Preventative Dental Care products to be given to every patient.
Further, they have hosted appreciation drinks evenings for
volunteers in NSW where volunteers can join together from
different locations and share their experiences from the Charity
The ADIA has through Federal
President Pam Clark has been very supportive in appointing
Federal Committee members as State Representatives to work with
each NDF State Committee to provide materials and other support
items needed on Charity Days . Additionally the ADIA arranged a
free booth at the recent ADX Exhibition in Sydney to assist the
NDF recruit volunteers and let the industry know what a great
result is being achieved.
The ADA in WA and NSW have been
generous in providing free space to the NDF in their ADA
newsletters to enable State Chairmen to communicate the
activities of the NDF to dentists and to recruit additional
volunteers. This action has greatly assisted the State
It is of great credit to the
dental profession that the range of volunteers now covers nearly
all areas of the dental industry. We have volunteer dentists,
nurses, hygienists, therapists, Oral Surgeons, dental
technicians and industry suppliers working together in their own
time to reach out and help the severely disadvantaged in
As the work of the NDF grows the
calls for assistance snowballs as more charities contact the NDF
asking for assistance for their clients. It reflects a
frightening situation across Australia that has been neglected
for too long and even now does not look like it will be
adequately addressed by Commonwealth and State Governments.
To try and meet the desperate
calls for assistance the need of which only the dental industry
can really appreciate the NDF is looking for more volunteers
from all facets of the dental industry. Parties willing to
assist can choose to work a session or a day –what ever they can
contribute. The NDF committees will organize the day to suit the
It is easy to volunteer; simply
www.nationaldentalfoundation.org.au and register your
details. You will then be contacted by your State Committee and
informed of planned activities. Your involvement is
discretionary – you can choose which days and hours you want to
There is a very special need the
NDF has to fill. We are looking for a volunteer coordinator in
each State. The people we are looking for will have the
necessary skills to be able to organize volunteer rosters and
liaise between the charities that are referring patients. Good
computer and communication skills are essential.
It will be a very rewarding job
for the people who volunteer.
If you know of anyone suitable
and interested please forward their name and contact details to
Merv Saultry by email
firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. o3 98214990.